Thursday, July 13, 2006

A tree (well, 12 of them) grows in Aldine

Take a look at this Google Maps link. This is north Houston, near Aldine. West Road is the four-lane road to the north. To the east is I-45.

"So what?" you might ask. "All I see is a utility easement."

You're right. It runs north and south through the middle of the map.

But look at the right side of the easement. A dark line parallels the easement and ends just before West Road.

A row of about a dozen large oak trees are lined up there. (It's easier to see if you copy/paste the image into Photoshop and fine-tune the color levels. I can e-mail an image if interested. I would have posted it here, but I'd rather not get a letter from Google's lawyers.)

An employee with the Greater Greenspoint Management District happened upon the site six years ago and wanted to turn the location into a park. He contacted me and gave me a quick tour of the site.

The idea is that two rows of trees may have led to a homestead in the area. It's likely the second row of trees may have been cut down to make way for the easement.

The homestead, long gone by now, is thought to have been located across West Road as evidenced by remnants of a daffodil garden on the property.

Harris County records indicate the land at one time belong to John Durkee, a late 1800s settler from New York.

Last time I checked, the plans for a park never came to fruition.

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4 Comments:

At 5:57 PM, Anonymous RIP Ford said...

John Edward Durkee [dUr´kE], came to Texas from the northern states. He owned property all over and around Houston. He owned a large area on the north side of Houston. He named this area Little York in honor of his home state, New York. Mr. Durkee was known for his generosity and civic pride. He donated the land on Little York Road to the Harris County School District #25. It was in recognition of his service to the community that the school was named Durkee Elementary School.

Durkee Elementary opened its doors in 1912. By 1918, Durkee had three teachers. Around 1920, County District #25 was absorbed by the Houston Independent School District. About 1931, Durkee was closed and did not reopen until 1947 when the school population again caused Durkee to be needed. By 1950, Durkee had an enrollment of 82 in its four room red brick building. Durkee located on Little York, (located on what is now the property of Fonville MS) was closed again in the fall of 1954 when the new 16 classroom, Durkee was completed on Nordling near Rittenhouse Rd.


Link:
http://es.houstonisd.org/DurkeeES/Information/about2.htm

 
At 5:59 PM, Anonymous RIP Ford said...

Sorry, that was supposed to be:

"John Edward Durkee [dUr´kE], came to Texas from the northern states. He owned property all over and around Houston. He owned a large area on the north side of Houston. He named this area Little York in honor of his home state, New York. Mr. Durkee was known for his generosity and civic pride. He donated the land on Little York Road to the Harris County School District #25. It was in recognition of his service to the community that the school was named Durkee Elementary School.

Durkee Elementary opened its doors in 1912. By 1918, Durkee had three teachers. Around 1920, County District #25 was absorbed by the Houston Independent School District. About 1931, Durkee was closed and did not reopen until 1947 when the school population again caused Durkee to be needed. By 1950, Durkee had an enrollment of 82 in its four room red brick building. Durkee located on Little York, (located on what is now the property of Fonville MS) was closed again in the fall of 1954 when the new 16 classroom, Durkee was completed on Nordling near Rittenhouse Rd."

 
At 2:46 AM, Blogger J.R.G. said...

Rip: Heh. Well whaddya know. I grew up a few miles from Little York; went to middle school on Little York, in fact. Learn something new every day. Thanks for the insight and link.

I like the texanwanderlust.blogspot.com site, by the way. Great photos.

 
At 10:35 AM, Anonymous RIP Ford said...

Not a problem, and thanks for the kind words.

 

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